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Scotweb 1995-2019 - our story

By Nick Fiddes

CLAN Scotweb's origins go back to the very earliest days of the world wide web. Here is the story of how we became the company of today.

Where the idea started

No one knows how many sites exist on the web today. Well over a billion.

They numbered only in the hundreds in 1993 when I set up my first server at Edinburgh University. I was lecturing in Anthropology, and mine was one of the first web servers on earth, and certainly the world's first environmental-information site.

By 1995, there was still no Google, eBay, or Amazon. But I'd a hunch this clever Internet thing might go somewhere. And the joy of growing piles of marking was waning.

Then one day, I attended a seminar about Scots abroad. It blew my mind.

Who knew there were ten times more Scots outside Scotland than inside? Or that half of all US presidents had Scottish blood? Or, curiously, that unlike the Irish, Italians, or Chinese we hadn't clustered, but spread out, quietly working hard and prospering? In fact Scots are one of North America's most economically successful immigrant groups.

So, thinks: if you live in the US Mid-West (for example) and are discovering your Scottish ancestry, where would you find your tartan? Hmmm... an idea was forming...